Frequently Asked Questions

About sailing a boat and staying on a boat

Q: What do I wear ?

A: Generally comfortable clothes ie jeans with layers (shirts/jumpers) that you can take off or add – the temperature changes quickly on the water.  Sun cream, hats and gloves (perhaps cycle gloves) are useful.  Essential are soft soled non marking shoes ie trainers – just check by putting them against your fridge to see if they mark!  Wet weather gear is provided on most boats and if the skipper puts theirs on you know it would be good idea to wear some too!

Q: What about life jackets – do I need one?

A: Yes, as the RNLI says, ‘a life jacket is useless unless worn’.  However all yacht charter companies provide life jackets and they are easy and comfortable to wear.

Q: What food is provided – how does catering work on a boat ?

A: You can eat on board or in local pubs and restaurants.  Eating out is at your own expense.  I can advise on local venues to meet your budgets and preferences and if booking is required.  I give guidance about what food you need and what can be provided.  On weekend charters it is most cost effective if you bring your own food but we can discuss what works best.  With bareboat charters food is not provided.

Q: Where are you based and where do we sail ?

A: Most of the sailing is around the Solent.  Corporate and personal sailing is usually from Lymington to Yarmouth or Cowes on the Isle of Wight or perhaps Portsmouth.  There are many other options though. In Sailing courses – we will visit as many of the Solent destinations as possible – see Yacht Havens.

Q: What happens on a typical Day Sailing Corporate Event ?

A: Generally start with a bacon roll or full breakfast in the Lymington Yacht Haven whilst waiting for everyone to arrive.  We walk to the boats, have a short safety briefing and set out for a days sailing on the Solent.   We may sail west towards Hurst Castle – maybe to the Needles and then back to Yarmouth (a quaint fishing village on the Isle of Wight) for lunch.  Alternatively we sail east to Cowes for lunch.  Cowes is an international sailing Centre but still retains a quaint charm.  There are numerous options for lunch in both Cowes and Yarmouth to suit the type of event and/or budget.

Q: What happens on a Typical Sailing Weekend for Stags and Hens or Friends and Family ?

A: Arrival is usually Friday evening 1800 – settle on the boat and go out for a meal.  Spend most of Saturday sailing – often to Cowes – a lively centre for ‘yachties’.  Enjoy a few drinks and a meal before returning to sleep on the boat.  A leisurely (depending on weather and tides) sail back to Lymington on Sunday arriving back mid afternoon – latest 1600.

Sailing is participative and people love getting involved driving the boat and helping with the sails but you can sit and relax and just enjoy the experience of being out on the water with life at a different pace if you prefer.

Q: Will I get Sea Sick ?

A: Most people do not feel sea sick sailing on the Solent as it is protected – if you do it is nothing to be ashamed of – just let the skipper know and they will do all they can to make you comfortable – but they don’t have a magic wand!

Q: what is sleeping on a boat like and what do I need to bring ?

A: You frequently need to share a cabin. You need sleeping bags and pillows.  Don’t forget towels and wash kit.   A torch and any phone charging kit is useful. Duvets and pillows can be hired for a charge

Q: Can I use a hairdryer or curling tongs ?

A: there are usually hairdryers in the marinas.  Also most boats have normal electricity when plugged into shore power in a marina.  At anchor or on a mooring you do not have electricity

Q: Where do I shower and what facilities are in marinas ?

A: All marinas have showers and toilets – of varying standards.  Many also have hairdryers.  See Yacht Havens for more info.

Q: Can I travel by train. How do I get there driving ?

A: See link to rail enquiries.  There is a good service from Waterloo to Brockenhurst.  From there for speed it is best to get a taxi for the 10 minute drive.  Alternatively Lymington Town Station is walking distance form the boats (15/20 minutes) – National Rail.

Q: What about the weather ?

A: We all know the weather issues in England.  We watch the forecasts continually!  There is something about the Solent – it seems to have its own micro climate – yes there are bad days but there seems to be far more good than bad.  It is also generally lighter winds in the morning and the sea breeze kicks in for the afternoon which works well for corporate days – gentle introduction to sailing and then some excitement.  Check out the numerous weather forecasts including BramblemetLymington weather and tides and Met Office.

Q: Do we need a race boat to go yacht racing ?

A: It depends on what level of racing you plan to do.  For many of the organised Solent regattas you need a race boat to match the others racing.  These are often Beneteaus.  For your own regatta and informal racing then matched cruising boats work very well and cost less.

Q: where can I read more about sailing ?

A: there are many books and the RYA has some excellent publications.  There are numerous sailing forums on the web and many sailing magazines.

Are there toilets on board ?

A: Yes – the main difference to ‘normal’ toilets is that you have to manually pump for the flush and be sparing with paper. In a marina it is best to use the marina facilities.